Last week Joakim Sundén and I released the Spotify Model Essentials practice based on Essence as part of a meetup event. During this meetup event additional materials for leveraging this new practice were made available. In this post I’d like to summarize the release and briefly describe all materials that were made available.
The Spotify Model is a very loosely defined “framework” for agile at scale. It is mainly documented in an outdated white paper (which is a snapshot of Spotify’s way of working in 2012) and two videos (part 1, part 2) from 2014 on the engineering culture of Spotify which captured mostly by a consultant who says himself that he was just the messenger. However, if you want to immerse yourself into the Spotify Model, you have to wade through a vast number of presentations and articles, many of them published by Spotify employees saying things like “there is no Spotify Model”, “don’t copy the Spotify Model” and “you can do better than the Spotify Model”. Despite the scarcity of even semi-official descriptions and many cautionary tales, the “Spotify Model” continues to appeal to many organizations.
However, what is the Spotify Model really all about? What are the essentials of the Spotify Model? Is there really something like “the” Spotify Model?
Joakim Sundén and I have collaborated to put together what we think are the essential elements of the Spotify Model described based on Essence. In addition, we’ve developed a classification that guides the adoption of the Spotify Model. This classification distinguishes between the elements which should be embraced when adopting the Spotify Model and elements which should be considered to complement and support it. Particularly the classification lists and groups other practices which are self-contained and typically are reused when the Spotify Model is adopted. We’d like to get you involved and ask for your feedback to further evolve the practice and classification based on our shared understanding and experience adopting the Spotify Model. We suggest use the LinkedIn group Essence for Agility for the discussion.
In addition to the Spotify practice, Simon Girvan of IJI released a virtual whiteboard based on Mural that demonstrates how the cards of the Spotify Model Essentials practice can be leveraged to play so-called serious games. These games do not have entertainment, enjoyment, or fun as their primary purpose. They are played in person and address business problems in creative, engaging and most importantly, effective ways (see the book and website on gamestorming). The Spotify Model Essentials Gameboard contains five games that will help you to understand, adopt, optimize, and improve your individual use to the Spotify Model Essentials practice (It’s in fact a Mural template. You need at least a free Mural account to create a new board based on this template within your own environment). Furthermore, Simon developed another game which we’d like to play openly with you: How well do you implement the Spotify Model? We’d like to ask you to analyze the elements of the Spotify Model Essentials practice and assess them by using simple sticky notes. This gameboard is shared by all players and thus we’ll get an idea of how the Spotify Model is used in practice.
As they were so many deliverables released and shared, please find below for your convenience a list including all links and some additional comments:
- Essence for Agility Meetup Event: The Spotify Model Demystified and Made Applicable (Recording, Slide Deck). The slides which were shared during the event provide an overview of the Spotify Model Essentials practice and guide the adoption of the Spotify Model. Particularly the latter describes a classification which can be leveraged to identify the elements that should be embraced when adopting the Spotify Model and elements that should be considered to complement and support it.
- Spotify Model Essentials Practice described based on Essence: Joakim Sundén and I provide the Essence-based cards under the Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike International Public License. You can browse through the cards, download and use them. I highly recommend to have a go at the cards using the browser on your mobile device. 😉
- Spotify Model Essentials Gameboard (Mural Template): Use this gameboard to understand, adopt, optimize, and improve your individual use to the Spotify Model Essentials practice. Please note that it’s actually a Mural template and you need at least a free Mural account to use the template within your own environment.
- Public Gameboard How well do you implement the Spotify Model?: Use this gameboard to analyze the elements of the Spotify Model Essentials practice and assess them by using simple sticky notes. Please note that this is an open gameboard that is shared by all players/users.
- LinkedIn group: Essence for Agility: Use this LinkedIn group for following and participating in the discussion about Essence in general and also the Spotify Model Essentials practice.
We made an effort to develop the Spotify Model Essentials practice, related materials, and meetup event. However, this is just the beginning and there are more things to come. We’re currently working on an article introducing and describing the Spotify Model Essentials practice. We’d love to get your feedback, comments, ideas, and of course also criticism. Furthermore, there are more practices based on Essence yet to come. Stay tuned.